I suspect it is upon me, the Change. There are several clues: my temper, historically mellow, has begun to fire up rather dramatically and too often without any real need for pyrotechnics. I have become weepy, again a departure from my normal, real self of ironic stoicism, and again triggered by what seem to be trivial events.
The third and final indicator is the sudden sensations of prickly heat I have begun to experience several times a day and which cause me to tear off clothing in a frenzy of weeping rage. Seconds later, chilled, I am piling on blankets, in a frenzy of weeping rage.
There’s more: the tiniest amount of wine causes a fuchsia flag across my face and my hips are swelling like bread dough on the rise.
In an effort to combat all these depressing signs of aging, I recently embarked on a beautification project. The new hairdo was merely the beginning; I am now going to learn the art of making up.
Not making up as in apologizing after a spat, or making amends without apologizing, but the kind that involves painting the face with various tints and powders.
I started down this trail after seeing a magazine ad wherein was asked the age-old question that has puzzled philosophers and scientists alike for hundreds of years:
“Why do you need a formula specifically developed to support upper eyelid integrity?”
Why indeed. In matters of integrity I have endured many a sleepless night in long (usually alcohol-fueled) discussion, but never had I given a moment’s thought to the integrity of my upper eyelids.
But part of my Change will be my willingness to consider everything; to give attention and mindfulness to every aspect of my life.
Reading on, I found that very recently, in a scientific breakthrough that surely must be on a par with genetically modified tomatoes, a formula has been developed to address upper eyelids’ integrity.
It promises to “make your eyes look bigger, brighter, fresher, and captivatingly alive” as opposed to your eyes without integrity which, we are to assume, look small, dull, stale and boringly dead.
I had no idea integrity could have a cosmetic effect! Is the day coming when all integrity will be achieved by the application of a specially developed formula?
No more frustration with political and corporate leaders, simply slather them with the appropriate creams, sprays and unguents. If they will not willingly apply the stuff themselves, it could be thrown on them, like cream pies on high-profile people, or rotten tomatoes on women who wear fur.
Formula duly ordered, I went on, searching for more self-improving potions.
Surme, the Natural Persian Ayurvedic Eyeliner-Enhancer caught my unenhanced eye as I looked through sites that promised less chemically saturated makeup.
Firstly, I will assure the integrity of my upper eyelids, then I will apply Surme.
Surme is beneficial for allergic, tired and sensitive eyes due to its cleansing properties.
It cleans and absorbs toxins from the eyes and protects them from harmful ambient rays. You may not need sunglasses, and your night driving will become clearer, the ad promises.
My eyes are probably quite toxic from all the daytime TV programs I’ve been watching as I Change, so this product is definitely on the must-have list. Although I don’t night drive or wear sunglasses, I suspect I may have to after using Surme.
The ad goes on to say my true natural beauty will be enhanced, and the ‘glorious shine’ of my natural essence will be encouraged.
I am all for enhancing any natural beauty I may have, but find myself hesitating over encouraging the shine of my natural essence. I fear my natural essence is already very shiny from all the junk food fats I devour during my afternoon soaps; it is not something to be encouraged. Actually, I am more in need of a matte finish to my natural essence.
The next two statements fascinated me:
“Applying Surme is very ceremonial. It brings your energy back to your physical body and your attention to the noble now.”
“Surme is unisex. It aligns the female and male energies in you.”
Suddenly I found myself intensely curious as to what exactly this product is; I’d been thinking it was eyeliner, as had been suggested in the caption, but now it sounded like something to be smoked, or eaten.
Well, why not? If they can talk about the integrity of upper eyelids, the ingesting or inhaling of beauty products doesn’t seem so unlikely.
I like it; I like the notion of ceremoniously rolling my eyeliner into some Zig Zag while chanting or humming energy into my unisexy body, all in the noble now.
The final statement sold me:
“If you share Surme with friends, you will turn ordinary meetings into magical, festive, heart-to-heart gatherings.”
Done. I have ordered a quantity of Surme. I don’t know how long one must be in the Change before one is Changed, but I want to have enough Surme to see me through.
I have ordered enough to turn many ordinary meetings into magical, festive, heart-to-heart gatherings and I don’t see why Pete shouldn’t be a part of those get-togethers; after all, Surme is unisex.
I didn’t go much further, to lipsticks, blushers, mascara, etc., etc., because the next site was all about Bridge Companions in those products and there was simply too much information to be read and too many dazzling promises to assimilate in one sitting. I will return, though, to check out critical factors like how to stop my lipstick from ‘feathering’, and the importance of ordering cosmetic brushes that are made from goat hair without harming the goat. The latter are “cruelty free”, a claim that can be made because the hairs are taken from the animal through “special grooming.”
Then there is a world of potions designed to rid the face of all the makeup while softening and invigorating the skin in preparation for cleansing with yet another product.
As I understand it so far, one spends considerable amounts of money and time preparing the face for the many different makeup essentials which also need a large outlay of cash and time. Beautified, one goes out into the world for a few brief heady hours before returning to the looking glass to use yet more money and time in taking it all off.
It’s an amazingly profitable business; billions of dollars being made from the desire of women to be lovely.
Lovely is not something I have aspired to until now and I suspect it may be too late to achieve it, but I am going for upper eyelid integrity and the ceremony of Surme.
I may not be able to make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear, but I can have a very good time, with integrity.
It’s nice to have dealt with the Change so handily; my fears are gone and I am ready to embrace Change. Indeed, I am looking forward to it.
Heather Bennett is a freelance writer
who lives in Watson Lake.